Monday, February 3, 2014

Initial Victory--Boycott Bill "Taken off the Agenda"

Our calls worked!  This afternoon at the Assembly Higher Education Committee meeting, Chairperson Deborah Glick took A. 8392, the anti-academic freedom bill,  off the agenda.  That is a huge victory for all of us who called and wrote to Deborah Glick, Speaker Sheldon Silver and other representatives.  It’s also a huge victory for the students of New York State.  Congratulations on your eloquence and persistence.  Steve London and I both talked to several lawmakers today, and the report was that they were being inundated with calls and emails in opposition.  The action was clearly in response to our calls and the calls of others across the state.

Don’t put your phones down yet, however, as the bill may be considered at a later meeting or revised and brought forward again.  We are far from finished with this issue.  We will update you as soon as more information becomes available.  Meanwhile, savor this good news, and enjoy the statement below, from the ad hoc coalition working to defeat this bill. 

Thank you, thank you, PSC activists; organizing counts!

Barbara Bowen
In an extremely positive turn of events, Deborah Glick, chair of the NY State Assembly's Higher Education Committee, started that committee's meeting this afternoon by announcing that the anti-boycott legislation was being taken off the agenda! This meant that it was not discussed in either the Ways and Means or the Rules Committee today, and therefore is not going to the floor of the Assembly for a vote today. 

The organizations working to stop this dangerous assault on academic freedom and free speech want to thank all of you who made calls and sent emails to Albany. We heard from several sources that the phones were ringing off the hooks...your voices were heard!

Assembly Member Glick has said they will be re-working the legislation, so our work is not over yet. We do not know when that might happen or what a revised bill might include, but we'll do our best to keep everyone informed with the most up-to-date information.

The ad hoc group that has been working on this effort includes the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild, the Professional Staff Congress (PSC - CUNY faculty union), Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Say No, the American Studies Association and others. In addition, very strong work came from NYSUT (NY State United Teachers), AAUP, NY Civil Liberties Union, and many individuals.

Thanks again to everyone who took does make a difference!

No comments:

Post a Comment